Genealogies fulfilled several purposes in the ancient world. Rulers used such lists to justify their power and authority. They were also used when planning marriages to determine the compatibility of the intended couple. A family tree established the social pedigree of the family.
References to: birth of Jesus
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Powerful kings have always been known for their great pomp, ceremony and privilege, both at home and abroad. When they travel, large retinues of servants, clothes, special foods, and sometimes, even items of their personal furniture, go with them. All to make sure their royal environment is preserved even in foreign territory.
Kings and queens have to look like kings and queens if their royal majesties are to be recognized and honored in the ways they are used to.
In his book about Jesus, Matthew frequently says that Jesus fulfilled verses from the Old Testament. One example comes in the story of Jesus’ birth.
Miraculous beginnings (verses 18-21)
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about,” Matthew begins. “His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”
Luke begins his book with dramatic announcements: angelic messages, songs of praise, and miracles. This is only the beginning, for Luke has equally dramatic events to report for the birth of Jesus. First, he sets the scene by telling us why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem.
Luke begins his book about Jesus with a preface that describes his research methods. His introduction (all one sentence in Greek) is similar to the beginning of Greek historical works:
Jesus’ birth involves more humiliation than glory. The Son of God was in glory, but he saw us living in the slimepit of sin, and he loved us so much that he came into this slimepit to save us. He gave up his glory and he lived in humble circumstances. When Jesus was born, people were not amazed by his glory. There was no glory in putting a baby in an animal’s feed trough.
The Old Testament is a story of frustrated hope. It begins by telling us that humans were created in the image of God. But it was not long before we humans sinned, and we were kicked out of paradise. But along with the word of judgment also came a word of promise—God said that one of Eve’s descendants would crush the enemy (Genesis 3:15). A deliverer would come to rescue the people.